american classical music

Black Girls Classics

The Playlist Series: African American/Black American Weddings, The First Dance

Requested By: riamonaee15

Etta James: At Last
K-Ci & JoJo: All My Life
Whitney Houston: I Will Always Love You
John Legend: Stay With You
Patti LaBelle: If Only You Knew
SWV: You’re Always On My Mind
The Isley Brothers: For the Love of You
John Legend: You & I
Beyonce: Halo
Faith Evans: I Love You
Four Tops/Whitney Houston: I Believe In You and Me
Tammi Terrel & Marvin Gaye/Cheryl Lynn & Luther Vandross: If This World Were Mine
Anita Baker: Sweet Love
Percy Sledge: When a Man Loves a Woman
New Edition: Can You Stand the Rain
Rufus & Chaka Khan: Sweet Thing
Jill Scott: He Loves Me
Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole: Unforgettable
Whitney Houston: You Give Good Love
Jaheim: Anything
Rose Royce: Wishing on A Star
Ginuwine: Differences
The O'Jays: Stairway to Heaven
Mariah Carey: When I Saw You
Aaliyah: At Your Best (You Are Love)
Dru Hill: These Are the Times
Babyface: Every Time I Close My Eye
Brian McKnight: Back At One
Minne Riperton: Loving You
India Arie: Ready For Love
Troop: All I Do Is Think of You
Prince: Adore
Kindred The Family: Where Would I be
Chaka Khan: Through the Fire
Jagged Edge: Promise
Dondria: You’re the One
Kevon Edmonds: 24/7
Kem: I Can’t Stop Loving You
Stevie Wonder/Luther Vandross/Donell Jones: Knocks Me Off My Feet
Tony! Toni! Tone!: Whatever You Want
Musiq Soulchild: Dontchange
Beyonce: Speechless
Seal: Kiss From A Rose
Case: Happily Ever After
Kem: Share My Life
Keyshia Cole: Love
Gerald Levert: Made to Love You
Musiq Soulchild: Love
The Deele: Two Occasions
Mawell: Fortunate
Xscape: The Arms of the One Who Loves You
India Arie: The Truth
Tendy Pendergrass: Love T.K.O
Kenny Lattimore: For You
SWV: Weak
Musiq Soulchild: sobeautiful
Mariah Carey: Vision of Love
Aretha Franklin: You’re All I Need
Gladys Kinght & The Pimps: Best Thing That Happened to Me
Beyonce: Rather Die Young
Luther Vandross: Here and Now
Pressure: Love And Affection
Heatwave/Luther Vandross: Always & Forever
Chaka Khan: Ain’t Nobody
John Legend: All of Me
Alicia Keys: If I Ain’t Got You
Luther Vandross: All The Woman I Need
Ruff Endz: Someone to Love You
Stevie Wonder: You and I
Beyonce: Dangerously In Love
Avant & Keye Wyatt: You & I
Shanice: I Love Your Smile
Maria Carey: Open Arms
Musiq Soulchild: Teachme
Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway/Beyonce & Luther Vandross: The Closer I Get to You
John Legend: P.D.A. (We Just Don’t Care)
Stevie Wonder: Signed, Sealed Delivered (I’m Yours)
Atlantic Starr: Always
Luther Vandross & Mariah Care: Endless Love
Blackstreet: Let’s Stay in Love
John Legend: So High
Lionel Richie & Diana Ross: Endless Love
Whitney Houston: Greatest Love of All
Mariah Carey: Underneath the Stars
Jagged Edge: Good Luck Charm

Which American Composer should you fight?

John Philip Sousa: Will you win? Probably not. He was in the marines, so he’ll probably kick your ass. But do it. Punch John Philip Sousa in the face. For all of us. I will pay you to fight Sousa.

George Gershwin: You could probably win this fight, but what will it accomplish? Nothing. He’ll just cry and you’ll hate yourself for making him cry.

Leonard Bernstein: Are you kidding? Have you ever watched Lenny conduct? Have you seen his music and time signature changes? He’ll kick your ass.

Aaron Copland: DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT FIGHT AARON COPLAND. HE IS SIX FEET OF PURE, CONCENTRATED ANGER. AARON COPLAND WILL DESTROY YOU AND EVERYTHING YOU LOVE.

John Cage: Fight John Cage. Just do it. You know you want to after that 4'33 bullshit. Use your rage to fuel you and you will win. Just remember: people buy sheet music for 4'33.

John Williams: Don’t fight John Williams. He will crush you with his massive amounts of money. You will die, suffocating under the checks for Hedwig’s Theme and The Imperial March.

Louis Moreau Gottschalk: You will definitely win this fight. No one really knows who he is, but fight him. There is no chance you will lose

Eric Whitacre: ABORT MISSION. I’m like 80% convinced that Eric Whitacre is some sort of God incarnate and you don’t want to incur his wrath.

Charles Ives: Do not fight Charles Ives. He is a precious cinnamon roll, too good for this world. Too pure. Just let him continue writing his weird music. He hurts no one.

Black Girl Classics

The Playlist Series: Songs You Will Hear at an African American Family Function

Sister Sledge: “We Are Family”
Frankie Beverly & Maze: “Before I let Go”
S.O.S. Band: “Don’t Stop the Music”
Slave: “Just A Touch of Love”
One Way: “Cutie Pie”
Patrice Rushe: “Forget Me Nots”
The Isley Brothers: “For the Love of You”
Juvenile: “Back that Ass Up”
Curtist Mayfield: “Pusherman”
Al Green: “Let’s Stay Together”
Stevie Wonder: “Isn’t She Lovely”
R. Kelly: “Step in the Name of Love”
Luther Vandross: “Never Too Much"
Shalamar: “Make That Move”
Teena Marie: “Square Biz”
Kool & the Gang: “ Get Down On it”
Sugar Hill Gang: “Rappers Delight”
Earth, Wind & Fire: “Reasons”
Strafe: “Set it Off”
The Gap Band: “You Dropped A Bomb on Me”
Chic: “Good Times”
Montel Jordan: “This “is How we Do It”
Evelyn Champagne King: “Love Come Down”
Club Nouveau: “Why You Treat Me So Bad”
McFadden & Whitehead: “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now”
Sly and The Family Stone: “Family Affair:
Al Green: “Love and Happiness”
Switch: “I Call Your Name”
68 Boyz: “Tootsee Roll”  
The O'Jays: “Love Train“
Carl Carlton: "She’s A Bad Mama Jama”  
The Whispers: “Rock Steady”
Johnny Kemp: “Just Got Paid”
Kool & the Gang: “Celebration”
Ohio Players: “Love Roller Coaster”
Al Green: “Tired of Being Alone”
Marcia Griffiths: “ Electric Boogie (The Electric Slide)”
Roger:  "I Want to Be Your Man”
Ohio Players: “Fire”
Earth, Wind & Fire: “September”
The Commodores: “Brick House”
Michael Jackson: “Billie Jean”
Chaka Khan: “Ain’t Nobody”
Whitney Houston: “I wanna Dance With Somebody”
Parliament: “Flashlight”
DJ Casper: “Cha Cha Slide”
Zap: “ Computer Love”
The Whispers: “And the Beat Goes On”
S.O.S.: “Just Be Good to Me”
Frankie Beverly & Maze: “Happy Feelings”
Cameo: “Candy”
Vaughan Mason & Crew: “Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll“
Guy: “I Like”
Cheryl Lynn: “Got to Be Real”
Cupid: “Cupid Shuffle”
The Gap Band: “Outstanding”

Portrait of soprano Veronica Tyler. Printed on front: “James J. Kriegsmann, N.Y.” Stamped on back: “Veronica Tyler, soprano.”

  • Courtesy of the E. Azalia Hackley Collection of African Americans in the Performing Arts, Detroit Public Library
Great American Composers : William Grant Still

William Grant Still (May 11, 1895 – December 3, 1978) was an American composer, who composed more than 150 works, including five symphonies and eight operas.

Often referred to as “the Dean” of African-American composers, Still was the first American composer to have an opera produced by the New York City Opera. Still is known most for his first symphony, which was until the 1950s the most widely performed symphony composed by an American. 

Born in Mississippi, he grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, attended Wilberforce University and Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and was a student of George Whitefield Chadwick and later Edgard Varèse.

Of note, Still was the first African American to conduct a major American symphony orchestra, the first to have a symphony (his 1st Symphony) performed by a leading orchestra, the first to have an opera performed by a major opera company, and the first to have an opera performed on national television.

Due to his close association and collaboration with prominent Afro-American literary and cultural figures such as Alain Locke and Langston Hughes, William Grant Still is considered to be part of the Harlem Renaissance movement. 

In 1918, Still joined the United States Navy to serve in World War I. Between 1919 and 1921, he worked as an arranger for W. C. Handy’s band. In 1921 he recorded with Fletcher Henderson’s Dance Orchestra, and later played in the pit orchestra for Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake’s musical, Shuffle Along. Later in the 1920s, Still served as the arranger of Yamekraw, a “Negro Rhapsody” composed by the noted Harlem stride pianist, James P. Johnson. His initial hiring by Paul Whiteman took place in early November 1929.

In the 1930s, Still worked as an arranger of popular music, writing for Willard Robison’s Deep River Hour and Paul Whiteman’s Old Gold Show, both popular NBC Radio broadcasts. In 1936, Still conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra ; he was the first African American to conduct a major American orchestra.

In 1934, Still received his first Guggenheim Fellowship; he started work on the first of his eight operas, Blue Steel. In 1949 his opera Troubled Island, originally completed in 1939, about Jean Jacques Dessalines and Haiti, was performed by the New York City Opera. It was the first opera by an African American to be performed by a major company.

Still moved to Los Angeles in the 1930s, where he arranged music for films. These included Pennies from Heaven (the 1936 film starring Bing Crosby and Madge Evans) and Lost Horizon (the 1937 film starring Ronald Colman, Jane Wyatt and Sam Jaffe). For Lost Horizon, he arranged the music of Dimitri Tiomkin. Still was also hired to arrange the music for the 1943 film Stormy Weather, but left the assignment after a few weeks due to artistic disagreements.

In 1955, he conducted the New Orleans Philharmonic Orchestra; he was the first African American to conduct a major orchestra in the Deep South. Still’s works were performed internationally by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the BBC Orchestra.

He was the first African American to have an opera performed on national United States television when A Bayou Legend, completed in 1941, premiered on PBS in June 1981. Additionally, he was the recording manager of the Black Swan Phonograph Company.

( Source : Wikipedia )

2

Marcia Davenport (June 9, 1903 – January 16, 1996) 

American author and music critic. Born Marcia Glick, the daughter of Bernard Glick and the opera singer Alma Gluck, and she became the stepdaughter of violinist Efrem Zimbalist when Alma Gluck remarried.

She was first celebrated as a writer for her first book, Mozart, the first published American biography of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. She also wrote several popular novels, notably The Valley of Decision. (Wikipedia)

From our stacks: Cover detail and title page detail from Mozart by Marcia Davenport. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1932.

Outdoor portrait of soprano Leontyne Price. Stamped on back: “Leontyne Price. Personal management, Larney Goodking, 30 East 60th St., New York 22, N.Y., Room 1202, ELdorado 5-6560.”

  • Courtesy of the E. Azalia Hackley Collection of African Americans in the Performing Arts, Detroit Public Library

a semi-serious playlist (because some of the songs are just me trying to be funny)

playmoss | youtube

01. romance
Romance Anónimo,  Romance d'Amour or Spanish Romance, which originates in the 19th century 

02. dearly departed (marianas trench)
(we’ll toast what could have been/ my dearly departed)

03. wolf in sheep’s clothing  (set it off)
(tell me how you’re sleeping easy/ how you’re only thinking only of yourself/ show me how you justify/ tell me are your lies like second nature)

04. sweet dreams (are made of this) (sucker punch soundtrack version)
(travelled the world and the seven seas/ everybody’s looking for something)

05. i can’t decide (scissor sisters)
(no wonder why my heart feels dead inside/ it’s cold and hard and petrified)

06. death on two legs (queen)
(death on two legs/ you’re tearing me apart/ death on two legs/ you never had a heart of your own)

07. miss jackson (panic! at the disco)
(out the back door, goddamn/ but i love her anyway/ miss jackson/ are you nasty?)

08. 505 (artic monkeys)
(i’d probably still adore you with your hands around my neck/ or i did, last time i checked)

09. troublemaker (olly murs feat. flo rida)
(my mind keeps saying ‘run as fast as you can’)

10. angel of small death and the codeine scene (hozier)
(freshly disowned in some frozen devotion/ no more alone or myself could i be/ looks like i strayed to the arms that were open/ no shortage of sordid, no protest from me)

11. in hell i’ll be in good company (the dead south)
(my life’s a bit more colder/ dead wife is what i told her)

12. the fire (bishop briggs)
( ‘cause i’ve been a devil/ i’ve been a saint/ somebody help me/ i can’t change)

13. mighty fall (fall out boy)
(baby we should have left our love in the gutter where we found it/ cause you think, you think your only crime is that you got caught/ i’m singing oh/ how the mighty fall, the mighty fall/ the mighty fall/ , they fall in love)

14. take me to church (hozier)
(i’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies/ i’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife/ offer me that deathless death/ good god, let me give you my life)

15. nicotine (panic! at the disco)
(just one more hit and then we’re through/ ‘cause you could never love me back/ cut off all ties i have to you/ ‘cause your love’s a fucking trap)

16. i found (amber run)
(i found love where it wasn’t supposed to be/ right in front of me/ talk some sense to me)

youtube

Bob Dylan - Ballad of Hollis Brown (1963)(TV Appearance)